Copeland porcelain plaque depicting the Casket Scene from The Merchant of Venice
English, Late 19th Century
Frame: height 47.5cm, width 65.5cm, depth 5cm
Plaque: 34cm, width 52cm, depth 1.5cm
Executed by the famous French porcelain artist Lucien Besche, and made by the English Copeland porcelain manufactory, this beautiful painted plaque depicts the Casket scene from Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice.’ In this scene, the main character Bassanio is forced to choose between three caskets to win the hand of the beautiful Portia. The previous suitors have failed, picking the gold and silver caskets instead of the lead; Bassanio chooses wisely, much to the delight of Portia. Accompanied by her entourage, Portia’s hope and excitement is strongly conveyed, and the colours, textures, and rich tonalities of the various robes, objects, and figures in the composition are also skilfully depicted.
It is marked ‘COPELAND’ to the reverse, and signed to the lower right ‘L. BESCHE,’ and is set within an elegant giltwood frame.